Escape the Office Cubicle With an Online Income

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Posted by The Savvy Retiree on July 25, 2016 in Online Income

Jen Adams writing on online incomes

Once, on a whim, I packed up and moved to Ecuador, intending to stay for just a few months…it’s the kind of thing you can do when you have an online income.

Instead, I met my husband, a fellow expat, and we spent the next five years calling Cuenca “home base” as we explored South America. Now, as a family, we’ve chosen to base ourselves in trendy South Austin. There’s amazing music, good food, and easy access to both sets of grandparents.

We’re free to be wherever works best for us at any given moment…and I pay for it all with my freelance copywriting.

My role is to help companies connect with current and future customers using persuasive writing (something anyone can learn to do, by the way).

I’m partnered up with clients from all over the world. We connect and do our business over the web, swapping projects and paychecks with the click of a mouse. Most of them I’ve never met in person.

I’ve been a free-range writer for nearly 10 years.

The first year, my dad called. Rather a lot.

He wanted to be sure I wasn’t about to starve or get evicted.

No fear. Freelance copywriting is well paid.

Yesterday, for example, I got a quarterly royalty check in the mail. Just over $3,800…and not for anything I’ve done lately.

These royalties date back to projects that wrapped up long before my son was born. I earned lucrative up-front fees at the time, and I’ll continue to earn royalties for as long as my clients keep using my words to connect to their customers.

It’s one of my favorite perks of the profession.

And the demand for my services goes up all the time, which, as you might imagine, is a great comfort to me. I’ll never have to go back to work another day at a job I loathe, stuck in a cubicle cage.

No more office politics, corporate restructures, long commutes or $80/week dry cleaning bills for me, thank you very much!

All my life the people around me had pushed me to have a “real” job as my goal.

To them, that meant the sort of thing you trained for with a college degree. The kind of work that started with an internship at a good firm and escalated into 40 years of slow promotions up the corporate ladder.

Respectable. Reliable. Something you could count on…


That certainly is the Kool-Aid the world wants you to drink. But, most of those “safe” jobs are anything but – you can get chucked out in a corporate restructuring at a moment’s notice.

Plus, there’s really not much that separates a cubicle from a cage (at least in my mind).

Thankfully, there are no cubicles in my life any more.

I still wake up early, but that’s only because my young son is an early riser. Most mornings, we play together for a good hour and then have a leisurely family breakfast before I do anything else. Between playtime and naps, I put in three to four hours a day in my home office – a simple set up that’s little more than a computer, printer, and a few current project files.

That’s all I need for my work – although, to be honest, half the time I’m working from one of Austin’s funky coffee shops or sitting out on our patio, sipping something delicious as I do my work.

Meetings are a rarity, and there’s no boss lurking over my shoulder, monitoring when I come in or take lunch.

If I want to knock off early, I can.

If I want to work from home…a friend’s home…or a vacation rental abroad…well, it’s all possible.

I just pack up my little “office” and go.

Since I started copywriting, I’ve done work in almost a dozen countries and twice as many states.

What I do for my clients – the blog posts, articles, email sequences, and sales pages – earns me a very comfortable income.

Not pennies a word, or even nickels.

Clients are happy to pay thousands of dollars – plus royalties – for what I create on their behalf.

I’ve found my personal path to freedom.

And, direct response copywriting is something anyone with an interest can learn how to do.

You don’t need a special kind of background, or even a college degree.

So, no matter how many years you’ve been stuck in an office, or simply in a job you don’t like, remember, freedom could sound a lot like a quiet tapping on the keyboard.

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